Nov 25, 2007 5:56pm
Re: poll on the changing eras
they were "raw and amateurish" in mid-'65, at Magoo's Pizza Parlor in Menlo Park, and starting at the Kesey Acid Tests, they started plumming territory no one even thought about before.
Then, in late '65 they recorded a batch of two track stereo masters in the studio, some of which are avail. to stream on the LMA.
Songs from those sessions that sound far from amateur, at least to me, include "The Only Time Is Now" which shows they had learned a lot from The Beatles as to going electric (and The Beau Brummels?) and harmonizing in the pop girl group sound filtered thru McCartney & Lennon.
Only later would they (the GD) get cocksure enough to let loose in the Rolling Stones jam/riff-a-thon Richards style, by way of Chuck Berry and all those blues cats (whom the GD were listening to, but to be sure, they were at plenty of parties in the '65-'66 nites when the Stones lps were on the turntable).
By '66 they were far from amateur, tho live they were indeed raw.
But again the studio recordings they made (in '66) were far from raw.
On the other hand, compared to the L.A. psych hit records being made in '66; e.g. "I Had Too Much To To Dream Last Night" by The Electric Prunes, the GD were far behind in terms of polished psychedelic recordings.
Maybe the stuff the Dead were doing at the Acid Tests was weird enough - even avant garde enough - to be far and above anything on the top 40 radio by The Seeds, The Blues Magoos (NY), The Remains (Boston), or even The Beatles (London by this point) in '66; but they couldn't hold a candle to those and other bands commercially, so yes, in comparison to 1966 hit records in the acid vein the GD were woefully behind in terms of making (1966) recordings ready for airplay.
And, by 1967, while they made great leaps forward in terms of live performances, and they made a respectable 1st lp, which some to this day claim - in spite of every condradicting opinion by heads and family - is their finest studio hour, with such onslaughts as Cream Puff War, they were not yet at their peak in terms of furious energy in performance.
I feel the uncut unedited remastered studio version of Cream Puff War is the best one.
The same may be true (for me and others) of Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion), Cold Rain And Snow, and New Minglewood Blues.
I did say maybe!
The first live stuff that starts going way into the auteur realm, that shows these guys were progressing at an amazing rate would definitely be sometime in 1968.
But they did impress people who were actually listening, as far back as Montery Pop Festival 1967, that Garcia could play, man... equipment problems be damned.
1969 is more of a peak in terms of technology for the band, and 1970 they got truly professional in terms of vocal arrangements.
It's all downhill from 1971 on, in one way or another: one step forward, two steps back... like that.
This post was modified by cream-puff-war on 2007-11-26 01:56:32 Attachment: 04_22-24_66.jpgAttachment: 45DarkStarUSSleeve.gifAttachment: bg-cb-gd.jpg